24 Signs You May Be A Mega Consumer

by Ron Haynes

Mega Consumers appear to be the driving force in the US economy. Everything hinges on the consumer: the auto industry, the home building industry, the retail industry, the restaurant industry, even the banking industry. Your government thinks so much of consumers, they have sent out “stimulus” checks.

Frugal websites abound with tips and techniques that try to combat consumerism and, hopefully they are having an effect. Still, we are a nation of consumers.

We can’t get away from all consumerism. Even if someone lives in a cave in the mountains, they’re still consuming something, though their contribution to consumerism would be very small (some call these spenders instead of consumers). Others won’t be persuaded to embrace frugality because they don’t have to, they’re wealthy enough to literally never worry about money. But there is a group of people who are the Mega Consumers despite NOT having huge trust funds. Do any of these characteristics describe you?

You have a yard sale every 3 months just to make room for more stuff.
You cannot fit anything else in your garage…and you don’t even have your car in there.
You have a separate filing system for each of your vehicles, including the boats and the RV’s.
You genuinely have no idea how much money you have, or where you have it, or where it goes.
You trade in your new car for a newer car every 12 months, or less if the mood strikes you.
You think a Vacation of the Month club sounds like something you’d be willing to join.
You think “Budget” is the name of a rental car company.
You engage in an expensive hobby without seeking ways to reduce its costs ($200 golf weekends, spending $2,000 for a hunting club, etc)
You claim to have “nothing to wear,” yet your closet is full to overflowing.
You camp out at a store to be the first to get the latest tech gadget.
You go to those “free vacation” time share weekends and fall for the spiel.
You’ve memorized the menu from more than one restaurant.
You’ve already spent your economic stimulus check, even though you haven’t received it.
You get jealous when the neighbors get a delivery from the furniture store.
You have HSN and QVC on speed dial.
You plan your vacations based on the shopping that’s available.
You know your credit card customer service reps by name and extension.
Your motto is, I came, I saw, I wanted, I bought.
You evaluate every purchase in light of its monthly payment, or what your limit is on Visa, or which credit card you’re NOT late on.
You don’t care that you have no money for savings, vacations, or entertainment, you spend it anyway.
You think wants are needs. Actually, you have no wants. They’re ALL needs.
You may be broke but it’s not your fault.
You have a personal parking space reserved at the mall.
You don’t care whether you rent, buy, or lease, just give it to me.

What are some other signs of the Mega Consumer?

Note: This post was included in The Carnival of Personal Finance at Gather Little by Little. Please visit the great blogs at the Carnival today!

[tags]consumerism, money, debt, credit, personal finance[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 22 comments }

Andy Wood

There’s an old Alabama (or is it Arkansas?) saying: Throw a rock into a pack of dogs – the one who yelps is the one who just got hit.

Ouch! :oops:

Great stuff!

Rachel @ Master Your Card

Great article! I know someone who wanted a whole bathroom refit because the tap stopped working! I think we are all guilty of buying more than we need and we really must think carefully about what we are purchasing.

Shamelle @ Enhance Life

“Your motto is, I came, I saw, I wanted, I bought.” :grin:
Good one!

As entertaining as the post is, it draws attention to the actual problem we have one spending. I love the way you get the message across to your readers.

Ron

Thanks Shamelle,
I appreciate your kind words! There’s someone I know who has 4 yard sales per year and my kids asked me, “How much stuff do they have?”

That question inspired this post!

Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Ron – I think you may be able to do some stand-up with this. I’m thinking Jeff Foxworthy. If you…chances are you’re a mega consumer. What do you think?

Great list by the way! Hopefully, it will serve as a wake-up call for some. I know that there was a time when I needed to read something like it.

Ron

Thanks Jeff,
I didn’t really mean it to be funny, it just came out that way. :D
I did laugh about it later. It reminded me of quite a few people I know….but they don’t read this blog!

ChristianPF

Good list! I enjoyed it and of course thanks for the link!!

Ron

Thanks ChristianPF,
And you’re more than welcome!

The Digerati Life

Great great post! I loved the list… so creative! Good points on determining if you’re going down the wrong path with your finances. On occasion, I’ve found myself exhibiting some symptoms on that list, but good thing I always end up pulling back and nipping it in the bud!

Ron

Thanks SVB,
It’s always a treat to see you’ve visited!

Moneymonk

I love the post especially –I came, I saw, I wanted, I bought

Love it’

Becky@FamilyandFinances

I’m doing pretty good based on this list :)

I do, however, have a separate file for both of our vehicles (we don’t have boats or RV’s, of course!). I also keep a separate file for each of the cats and my horse. I’m an organizing geek! ;)

Ron

Thanks Becky,
That’s funny. I think having files is great, but if you have so many vehicles you HAVE to have a file just to keep them straight in your mind, you might have more than you need! :D

But it is great that you’re organized. Keep it up!

Dave

I hate to say it, but America has become too vain to realize the real problems with this country. Your article is funny, but sadly it is very close to the truth. I know peole that have yard sales 3-4 times a year. I know people that trade their vehicle in, at most, every 12 months. I know people that spend way too much money to be in the “in” croud to be able to communicate.
Yes, I do have a file for each vehicle. They are for maintenance records due to the fact that they are all paid off, no payments. We do have a file for each animal we have to prevent from inbreeding. We have files for everything we need, and vanity is not one of our files!
It is no wonder why the rest of the world hates Americans because the are concerned about the latest tech gadgets, or the failure to recognize that they make more money in a week than some people make in a month, or more. Americans complain about the rising prices of everything, and most don’t realize that fuel prices are the main cause for everything going up in price. Example? News Flash tonight on TV. “Gas prices may be cause for food price inflation.” Of course they are, Tractors, fuel, diesel, harvesting, shipping, etc. And most people don’t realize this due to the fact that they are trying to think how they can stay in touch the coolest way. Or what’s on TV sitcoms or realality shows tonight. Or what they are going to wear tomorrow due to having nothing to wear (even though their closets are full).
If you can’t tell, American’s ignorance really irritates me and this kind of article just pushes the point home.
Good night, and good luck!

Aaron

This comment isn’t directed at you so much as the sentiment expressed in what you said about people hating Americans due to having to be in the “in” crowd. I think it is funny when people say that because I’m almost positive Japan is far more advanced than we are and spend a ridiculous amount of money on tech each year. No Al- Quaeda attacks there though. It all boils down to Religion not consumerism.

Leta

Ron, GREAT blog!! I have a few family members who are like this…and they don’t even work full-time jobs!! :shock:
For myself, I too have files for my vehicles, equipment, and animals…can you tell I have a small farm? :smile:
anyway, it’s good to see that I’m not as bad as I thought, as it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a vacation, and I absolutely DESPISE those time-share telemarketers :mad:
yes, my closet is full, but it’s all clothes that were GIVEN to me by those people who have all those yard sales (and couldn’t sell this particular bag of clothes). I don’t turn down FREE. My current auto is 13 years old, I paid $75 out-of-pocket for it, and I average 27-29mpg. So, I guess I’m out of the running for mega-consumer.

Ron

Thanks Leta,
There’s no shame in NOT being a mega consumer!
Congratulations on being in control of your finances. Maybe you should start a personal finance blog! I bet you’d have a lot of great tips.

Vi

Hi,
RE: Pingback by Slashing Monthly Expenses- A Real Family’s Example | Frugal Dad
2008-07-10 06:00:43
“the Roberts like to eat out several times a week. I know from experience this gets expensive when you have four mouths to feed. And from the video it didn’t look like they were dining at a budget eatery for their evening meals. Even Chick-Fil-A adds up quickly if you visit a couple times a week! Mrs. Roberts was seen in the video getting a pedicure and manicure, and paying $25 to get her SUV washed and detailed. All signs pointed to the fact these guys were mega consumers.”

I have to wonder if some of it is just plain old lazy! Why do your own when you can pay for the car wash or the manicure or other things for someone else to do it. I hate others doing my stuff for me, period! My situation is we are not allowed to use the water here outside so we have to carwash it. Manicures, it is not that hard to do ones own and I do! Eating out, my food made from scrath has always tasted better and the comments give support it.

People bought into the governments pushing this that and the other onto us as having to have this that and the other. I say government due to the having to get a converter box to watch what little TV that I do watch. They push the commercials as it is a better picture and better signal. I got the converter box (another item I did not need or did not want to purchase, but to watch what littel TV I do I am forced to buy it or not watch what little I do) and the signal is too low to pull so I am watching what little TV that I do watch the way I alwas did, and now have a new issue to deal with that was not there prior to. I have to call and find out why! Digital TV was implemented as it brings more buyers to the airwaves or whatever is used to make it work and thereby brings in more money to be made and ultimately more money to the government whether it is local or on the higher levels of taxing and buying what we did not need in the first place.

Much like anything else, consumerism is in some form or way pushed on consumers by government and secondly consumers need to have everything and anything even if they do not need it. Most of it is a want, as we all know the necessarties of life and wnts have nothing to do with needs at all.

Years ago things were too risque to be seen on TV and now it seems like there is not a whole lot that is over the top and most of it comes down to who makes the money and who sets the rules, most to all of it, ultimately in the end, is one form of government or the other. If you wwatch any of the studies that were done years ago to make consumers buy in one direction or the other you get the idea (test markets that were set up by government and others who followed under them) of how government forces consumers to buy this and that by what they allow or push onto the market. After all, who gives the OK for things to make it to market? Governement in one way or the other has a hand in it.

They say Americans are Oil hogs. Pardon me, but who allowed the manufacturers to put the gas guzzlers on the market. We, the consumer, did not design, or get permission to put these hogs on the roads, but in order to make from point A to B even for lifes necessarties we need an automobile of some sort and if all that is put on the market or mostly and it is made to look like good times and not a fall out, then what do you think consumers are going to buy? Exactly, they are going to buy what is on the market for sale. Yes, there are small cars and what if some do not believe in lining the pockets of foreigners as the oil prices always have done a good job of that already.

Think of how the Hybrids were not doing so well on the market. The government and all the news come out with this and that and the advantages, but left out the dollar cost and the having to find a place to refuel or charge and not all that was in place, and what about all the R&D that would not be paid for, so they up the price of oil per barrel and the gas price hits the roof and now the Hybrids and other small behicles are making a big hit. Well, duh, sure it did and it is just another of government forcing consumers to follow as they want consumers and people in general to. They do not like those who do not follow or it could lead to a civil war or revolt and that does not set so well. so, you manipulate and do any and all you can to keep the people in line and gollowing instead of leading. The government does not let you have or do any more than it wants you too and that is called, control, as last I knew it. Do we have to follow all of it, no. Do we have to survive one way or the other, yes. It is a matter of how or what one chooses if fortunate to do well in life that makes the difference in life as it always has and we all know, good decisions reap good rewards and bad reap bad or not so hot an outcome on the lower end!

Well that is my take on consumerism. Thanks for allowing me to voice on your blog. I enjoy reading what all have to say and usually come away with some new perspectives and advice. Keep up the good work and the good comments too. Have a great day!

TheConsumerJournal

So, Ron can you tell us what happens to the mega consumer during a full blown recession?

Ron

#TheConsumerJournal→
It all depends on your current personal financial situation.

TheConsumerJournal

As we know, most “mega consumers” live hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck. If it weren’t for tax penalties, they would deplete their IRAs. So, the real question is: “Is a recession enough inspiration for the “mega consumer” to reform their ways? By the way, to answer your question, mega consumers are quite adept at juggling balances and debt from one credit card to the next.

Princess Kessie

I came, I saw, I wanted, I bought

I’ve always known this one as Veni, Vidi, Visa…

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